The course will teach core principles of the life sciences through a set of key questions that biologists have sought to answer over the past 200 years. We will read historic scientific publications, discussing the basic biology at stake as well as what enabled each scientist to see something new. In addition, we will schedule several hands-on sessions with relevant materials. By situating key findings in their place and time we show how science is an inquiry-based, concrete, and ongoing activity, rather than codified and unchanging knowledge. Topics include cell theory, evolution, experimental embryology, genetics, and molecular development.